Federal Judge: Prairie Dogs Are Not Interstate Commerce

But Judge Benson drew the line at prairie dogs. He made a genuine effort to determine the constitutionality of the government’s actions, looking carefully at the facts and rejecting the government’s customary call for blind deference. Judge Benson refused to accept at face value the government’s baseless assertion that tourism would be affected by prairie dog takings on non-federal land, noting that all of the websites cited by the government as evidence of the prairie dogs’ supposed connection to tourism referred to the animals’ presence in national parks and forests–not private property. He also rejected the government’s argument that, owing to the Utah prairie dog’s “biological value” to the ecosystem, prairie dog takings may have effect on interstate commerce, declining to indulge in factually baseless, government-favoring speculation.


via Federal Judge: No, Congress Can’t Transform Prairie Dogs Into ‘Commerce’ | Evan Bernick.